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Standardized Guidance for Addressing Violence & Harassment in the Garment Industry

Clear procedures with strong messages from leadership reduce harassment and make workers feel safer.

CARE and Better Factories Cambodia have developed standardized guidance for all businesses in garment supply chains to address gender-based violence and harassment. These guidelines are designed to support businesses to take meaningful and effective action to ensure women workers are safe and respected at all levels of the supply chain.


Gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace has become a prominent global issue, with increasing social and legal pressure for companies to ensure this does not occur within their supply chains. However, tackling such a complex issue is challenging and minimal guidance existed for companies to address this across the breadth of their operations.
Better Factories Cambodia
CARE and Better Factories Cambodia worked in collaboration with brands and manufacturers to produce concrete guidance for supply chain actors to proactively address and respond to gender-based violence and harassment.

The guidance

The guidelines were designed to guide a diverse group of supply chain stakeholders including brands, retailers, licensors, licensees, agents, manufacturing groups and factories, as well as governments, employer and industry associations, trade unions and non-profit organizations.

The core guidance includes five procedures relating to different areas of the supply chain:

  • Human resource management
  • Procurement, purchasing, & sourcing
  • Supply chain management
  • Client & customer management
  • Subsidiary management

Each procedure is broken down into essential areas for action which cover five aspects of the workplace:

  • Organizational leadership
  • Workplace policies
  • Workplace systems
  • Workplace norms & practices
  • Workplace training


The guidance is supported by eight implementation guides, which provide more detail for businesses in the supply chain on how to implement the procedures.

For more information and to discuss how CARE can support companies to implement these guidelines, please contact Lesley Abraham at lesley.abraham@care.org.


The Guidelines for Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Manufacturing Industry were developed by CARE and Better Factories Cambodia. They draw on learning from the Enhancing Women’s Voice to STOP Sexual Harassment (STOP) project, which was funded by the Australian Government, and build upon CARE and BFC’s joint event on the Business of Women at Work, which was also funded by the Australian Government.


Guidance Notes (in English and Khmer)

Guidance Note 1: Workplace Policy on GBVH

This guidance note is intended to support workplaces in designing a policy to address gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) in the workplace. It covers principles, content, and harmonization with other workplace policies.

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Guidance Note 2: Grievance Mechanisms

This guidance note is intended to support the design of effective grievance mechanisms in response to gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) in the world of work. A grievance mechanism is a predictable and structured way to address and resolve complaints.

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Guidance Note 3: Referrals

Making referrals requires information on appropriate referral services available in the local area. In this Guidance Note, Better Work and CARE International share recommendations for making referrals available.

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Guidance Note 4: Monitoring and Reporting Systems

Monitoring and reporting on efforts to prevent and respond to harassment and violence is critical to risk management and driving norm and behavior change in the workplace. This implementation note is intended to support companies in developing measures which can be monitored and reported on to company leadership.

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Guidance Note 5: Risk Assessment

This note provides a framework for undertaking risk assessments on gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) and can be implemented by companies as part of human resource management, procurement, purchasing, and sourcing, supply chain management, client and customer management, and subsidiary management.

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Guidance Note 6: Responding to Disclosures Guidance Note

This Guidance Note details how to respond to disclosures about gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) and how to follow the LIVES approach.

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Guidance Note 7: Guide to Workplace Training

This note is intended to support companies undertaking training of their workforce. The note may support companies in identifying suitable high-quality training to provide in the workplace.

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Guidance Note 8: Zero Tolerance

This note is provided to help companies in considering the application of a zero-tolerance approach to GBVH. The guidance should support all companies in deciding whether and what type of zero tolerance policy it should have.

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